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Security hassles

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Well-known member
Dec 16, 2001
I just wanted to get some opinions from everyone on this board on how they deal with some of the currrent security practices, especially towards flight crews.

First and foremost, The Random Search. I've had this more than a few times while jumpseating. This sh!t pisses me off the most. Those idiots go through all your stuff in front of everyone. It's extremely embarrassing. And they always mess up the order of my stuff the way I packed it.... my clean clothes get unfolded, etc. Fortunatley one of my buds developed a system to beat it. Do not have the gate agent issue you a ticket - if you can, because it gets triggered off of the boarding ticket. Try to board with just the jumpseat form and your I.D., then after you've greeted the flight crew, ask the FA where to sit. Any other tips on avoiding this BS?

Going through security to jumpseat and the idiots say that you need a boarding ticket from the ticket counter. Of course, it seems that I have to "educate" those fools every time that you get the **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** jumpseat ticket at the gate. But they don't even know what a jumpseat form is or even how the process works.

Sometimes I have to travel with more than one bag. That's another fun one.

I was just wondering how you guys were dealing with these issues?
Wear a uniform. No ticket needed to get through security and you are exempt from bag limits... In fact, I dont travel anywhere without my uniform anymore.
Actually they lifted the ban on searching uniformed crew members. But that is only if the computer selects you, personell can't pull you out of line and search you as part of their random searches.

Now, if you want to help prevent the computer from selecting you, you have to do a few things. List yourself on a company work station (or have a gate agent from the airline you want to jump on list you) as far in advance as possible. I've heard you have to do it anywhere from 24 to 48 hours in advance, but I don't know what the true number is. Then check in as soon as you can, usually 45 min to an hour will do fine.

Lastly, if they search you, don't get such a negative attitude. You can't win the war against privacy by arguing with the lowest man on the pole. Screeners have no authority to change the rules. If you want to have the rules changed you'll have to go to the top (meaning the national government). Talk to your union or state representatives to address the problem.

Do know this, you can demand that the screener use rubber gloves when screening your baggage. You can also ask that the screener be discrete (most will be any way). If you are worried about people seeing your dirty undies, stand between your bags and the people, there is nothing stopping you from doing that.
I heard this morning that a lady had been browsing a magazine while waiting to board and had torn a page out intending to order the set of steak knives that she had been looking at. She was searched before boarding and the ad with the knives was confiscated. What a mindless zero! Can you imagine that it is even possible for someone to be that stupid?

I usually get randomed ever single time I jumpseat. Of course I can't actually get the jumpseat cause I am an offliner, but i have found if you are nice to the security, they usually will help you out and not take forever and mess your stuff up. Hey it's life now and I have just grown to accept it, I mean I am still very happy I have the privilege to get a free ride anywhere I want. And byt the way thanks to all the guys who have given them.

P.S. It is basic psychology, if you are nice to someone first, it makes it much harder for them to be ugly to you. It is all about attitude.

Fly Safe!
As stated earlier, the TSA has exempted flight crews from random searches at the boarding gate and at the checkpoint. Each airline can go above and beyond what TSA requires, so if Joe's flying service wants to random everyone, they can. Often the people that get the security directives, usually the airline's security coordinator, are not to concerned with the flight crew (they've got other things to worry about).

If you have a specific airline problem ask your jumpseat coordinator to talk to that airlines coordinator to work out the problem.

If you can't get through a checkpoint and you've got a valid pilot ID and uniform on, ask to talk to the GSC (Ground Security Coordinator from an airline, not a screening company employee). There should be one at each checkpoint that is still run by private companies.
Do you know where I can get a copy of the directive that states Flight Crews will no longer be random searched (harassed)?
I got searched the other day and the TSA guy at BWI said that I could now repack my own suitcase. They determined that they were waisting time packing pilot's suitcases as they could never get them right. Prior to TSA taking over security directives said that the person could not touch the case until it was repacked. WOW, an improvement.
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Does Airtran issue you a ticket at the gate for jumpseating... or do you just take the jumpseat form to the Flight Crew and then have the F/A give you a seat?
I now wear my uniform whenever I jumpseat/nonrev. As far as random gate searches, some airlines such as CO seem to follow that directive about uniformed crew members. However others such as NW seem to take extra care to see that all nonrevs get searched, whether or not they are in uniform. Sometimes I think that they are trying to lessen the impact for revenue passengers, and in reality only serve to lessen the limited value of the random gate search.

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